DOJ charges Russian in 'Cryptolocker' and 'Project Zeus' attacks, says US victims lost over $100M

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The Department of Justice has announced charges against a Russian man who is alleged to be the leader of a computer hacking group responsible for “Cryptolocker” and “Project Zeus” virus attacks that cost U.S. individuals and businesses more than $100 million, ABC News reports.

“Evgeniy Bogachev and the members of his criminal network devised and implemented the kind of cybercrimes that you might not believe if you saw them in a science fiction movie,” said Leslie Caldwell, who heads the DOJ’s criminal division, at a Monday news conference in Washington, D.C. “By secretly implanting viruses on computers around the world, they built a network of infected machines—or ‘bots’—that they could infiltrate, spy on, and even control, from anywhere they wished.”

Click to see the wanted poster.

The feds are seeking Bogachev, 30, but meanwhile have paralyzed the Project Zeus botnet and blocked Cryptolocker over the weekend. The former virus worked by creating a network of slave computers. The latter locked up computer user files unless and until the victims—including a number of law firms and government agencies—paid ransom.

Bogachev is federally charged in Omaha, Nebraska, and Pittsburgh with crimes including computer hacking, money laundering, bank fraud and wire fraud.

The Associated Press, BBC News and the Guardian also have stories.

Related coverage: “Microsoft Suit: Some Malware Is Preinstalled; Not Just an IP Issue But a Security Issue, Lawyer Says” “Computer virus locks up law firm files”

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